The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has denied sponsoring the live coverage of the botched Christmas day annual conference of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.
The 2018 national convention of the IEDPU, held at the forecourt of the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, was disrupted by hoodlums suspected to be members of both the All Progressive Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party who were shouting the slogans of their respective political parties during the presentation of the union calendar.
Answering questions from newsmen in Ilorin on Friday, the minister dismissed the allegation that he deliberately sponsored the live coverage of the event on the Nigerian Television Authority in order to embarrass the Emir.
Mohammed distanced himself from the allegation, saying he was not even aware that the event would hold.
He blamed the PDP in Kwara State for the rumour, noting that the party had been circulating false stories about him in recent times in order to pitch him against the Ilorin Emirate.
“The PDP in Kwara State is in a panic mode. They are in total disarray. They know they have lost these (forthcoming) elections so they have resorted to blackmail and outright lies. How could I have arranged a live coverage for a programme I was not even aware was taking place?
“It’s a lie. I was not aware there was a meeting. So, how could I arrange the (live) coverage. I challenge anybody who has any proof to come out and say that I was responsible for the live coverage,” Mohammed said.
He disclosed that already, 10 persons had appeared in court in connection with the mayhem at the Emir’s palace along with some miscreants who destroyed the billboards of the APC in Ilorin.
The minister said the people of Kwara were ripe, primed and ready for a change in the leadership of the state and that no amount of blackmail could deter them from ousting the PDP from power in the forthcoming elections.
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